Rowan’s Law Day marked in Thunder Bay with concussion workshop for students

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Students in Grade 7 to 10 in Thunder Bay, Ont., are taking part in a special one-day workshop Tuesday focusing on concussions and the importance of reporting and preventing this type of brain injury. 

The Student Concussion Education Symposium  precedes the first Rowan’s Law Day, on September 26.  The law is named after Rowan Stringer — a 17 year-old Ottawa athlete who died in May 2013 after sustaining head injuries while playing high school rugby.

Legislation was passed in Ontario in March 2016 known as Rowan’s Law “to protect athletes and to educate parents and guardians, coaches, officials about the dangers of head injuries,” Lakehead Public Schools Education officer, Jeff Utpon, told CBC News.

Students in Thunder Bay, who are participating in Tuesday’s workshop, will learn about the legislation as well as gain more insight into what a concussion is, what the signs and symptoms are, and the importance of reporting this type of head injury.

Upton said he also wants students to understand concussions can happen to anyone, at anytime, and they can have serious consequences.

Concussion have ‘serious impacts on people’s lives’

“People can bump their head in many different ways. It can be a trip and fall, it can be an accident, it can happen on a playground, it can happen from a bike accident. In days gone by, concussions weren`t taken too seriously. What we can see, concussions do have serious impacts on people`s lives.” 

The goal of the workshop is to help the students become leaders in their schools, when it comes to concussion awareness and prevention, said Upton.

“The first Rowan’s Law recognition day is this Wednesday, September the 26th,” he explained.  “We are doing the symposium workshop for students on the day before … to teach and educate specific students about concussion awareness and providing knowledge for them so that they can take that information back to their schools and become the teachers at their schools about this issue.”

Rowan’s Law is the first concussion law of its kind in Canada and every year, Rowan’s Law Day will be recognized across Ontario on the last Wednesday of September.



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